- Hey man, where are you coming from?
-Cool…Wait. ON A BICYCLE!!!???
Off we went toward La Paz, leaving la Ventana behind as we turned right around the giant Mexican flag. A cargo ship would bring us to the other side of the sea of Cortez, to mainland Mexico. From there, we would drive south along the Pacific coast, and find a cool place to spend the night.
I was sadder that I thought. Lukas sensed it and blasted ACDC to cheer me up. We arrived at the port prepared for bureaucracy. I measured and weighted the van for the first time. My Chichona is 7m long and weighs 3.5 tons. They checked the car permit and we waited in line, a tiny van among the trucks.
I don’t deal well with difficult emotions; sadness in particular. Sadness comes with a sense of helplessness and lethargy, the total opposite of how I like to feel. We left so many good people in la Ventana, especially Alex. I needed a quick way to get back to normal, any form of distraction would do.
Getting drunk seemed appropriate. Alcohol doesn’t solve your problems, but it helps you forget them for a while. As soon as the ship took off, we climbed to the highest deck and cracked a beer to the sunset. Cargo ships can be beautiful too.
We were only 3 foreigners on the ship; you could tell by the height. Lukas and I met Jon, a firefighter from Oregon (US) who was travelling from California to the south of Mexico. So far so good, the difference between me and him is that he did it on his bicycle! A tall, slim bearded man with a long fringe; the hipster version of a Canadian lumberjack. You can check out his impressive adventures on Instagram @memustache.
Jon spoke in a soft voice and moved in slow motion, like a mystical Kung-Fu master cloaked in soothing energy. I guess you need that when facing extreme forest fires. At dinner, he struggled in a broken Spanish to tell the cook he was vegetarian. The reasons behind one's vegetarianism often give away their personality. I was curious.
Jon got into vegetarianism after a Vipassana retreat. Vipassana is an ancient Indian healing technique of meditation. The retreat consists of a 10-day silent introspection. You meditate, cleanse your body, and deal with all the emotional shit you have been repressing over the years. Imagine not talking to anyone for a whole day, then two, that's a pretty long time but TEN DAYS!!! No distractions, no people, no drugs or alcohol, no compulsive behaviours. Only you and your mind, in complete silence. No choice but to clean out the closet.
Jon was the shit. Not only was he an incredible athlete, but he was also spiritually aware. I asked him a lot about the challenges of the retreat and how he dealt with them. He had a wise approach of dealing with difficult emotions, even more thanks to all the hardship he had faced on his trip.
Encounters happen in a strange way. As I was looking for ways to escape my sadness, I met Jon who embodied the opposite approach. We discussed Vipassana, the requirements versus the benefits. He reminded me of Dumbledore's words, "sometimes we have to choose between what is right and what is easy."
We arrived to Sayulita at sunset. Sayulita was a little beach town in the state of Nayarit, on the pacific coast. The route was sinuous and beautiful, it crossed through steep mountains and dense jungles. Sayulita was a colorful cocktail of tourists and attractions.
The streets were a hectic maze. Live music blared from the bars. Local hustlers approached tourists and smoke blew off every taco stand. All to a backdrop of shops and restaurants seizing every chance to make a buck. It looked like a Latin version of Square Jamaa El Fna in Marrakesh. Chaos.
But best of all were the women. They were everywhere! At the beach, in bars, in the streets. A long and diverse parade of beautiful women whom we were eager to meet. We caught the sunset on the beach then headed to a bar. Pleased to meet you Sayulita.
Every time I arrive to a new town, I befriend the barman; they always know what's up. I learnt this tip from Cizia Zykë, the greatest rogue explorer of our time. The barman told us Sayulita on a Friday night was THE place to be. There was a big party on the beach. A dance scene, live DJs, fire pits, and performing artists juggling with fire!
There were two hot blondies at the bar. Luckily for us they were Quebeckers, which made contact easy. We warmed up the night at the bar and headed together for the party. On the way, we saw a strange stand: beer bottles lined up on a shelf, stones on the floor, and an old Mexican man with a cowboy hat standing next to it. He offered three throws for 40 pesos. If you break a bottle you get a cold beer. Game on.
We threw stones and shattered glass, it was fun. Lukas and the girls did well. I was terrible. After the 6th missed throw, the old man offered me a beer out of pity. We thanked him and walked hand in hand to the beach, tipsy and euphoric.
The adrenaline mixed with alcohol dissolved my blues. In a brief moment of clarity, I remembered Jon's wise words. I knew it was not the right nor the healthy way to deal with sadness. But that could wait. Meanwhile, we had a party to go to.